What is the best pencil sharpener for colored leads?

What is the best pencil sharpener for colored leads featured

Why colored pencils need a specific sharpener

Colored pencils are a favorite tool for artists, students, and hobbyists alike. The vibrant hues they produce are perfect for creating detailed drawings, coloring books, or adding a splash of color to any project. However, their unique composition requires a specialized sharpener to ensure optimal performance.

Understanding the needs of colored leads

Unlike regular graphite pencils, colored pencils have softer leads made of wax, oil, or even water-soluble pigments. These materials create a smoother and more vibrant stroke on paper, but they also pose a challenge when it comes to sharpening.

A conventional sharpener designed for graphite pencils can cause the colored lead to break or chip, leading to uneven lines and wasted materials.

Choosing the best sharpener for colored leads

When searching for the best pencil sharpener for colored leads, there are several important factors to consider:

  • Gentle sharpening: Look for sharpeners that have adjustable settings or specifically mention compatibility with colored leads. These sharpeners will have blades that are designed to treat the softer leads with care and reduce the chances of breakage.
  • Dual-hole design: A pencil sharpener with multiple hole sizes is essential, as colored pencil sets often come in various thicknesses. Having the option to sharpen both standard and thicker colored pencils ensures versatility.
  • Container or shavings reservoir: Colored pencils can create more debris and residue compared to regular pencils. Choosing a sharpener with a built-in container or shavings reservoir will help keep your workspace clean and prevent shavings from spilling or scattering.
  • Durable construction: Look for a sharpener made from high-quality materials that will withstand frequent use. Metal or sturdy plastic options are recommended for long-lasting performance.

Top recommendations for colored pencil sharpeners

Based on these criteria, here are some top recommendations for the best pencil sharpeners for colored leads:

1. Prismacolor Premier Pencil Sharpener

This sharpener is specifically designed for Prismacolor colored pencils and produces a fine point without breakage. It has two sharpening holes for different pencil sizes and a translucent cover that allows you to see when the shavings container needs emptying.

2. STAEDTLER Double-hole Tub Pencil Sharpener

This double-hole sharpener from STAEDTLER is a popular choice among colored pencil enthusiasts. It provides a clean and precise sharpening while the hinged cover keeps shavings contained. It also includes a lid to prevent accidental spills.

3. Derwent Super Point Mini Manual Helical Pencil Sharpener

If you’re looking for a compact option with a rotary helical blade, the Derwent Super Point Mini is a great choice. The helical blade ensures a smooth sharpening experience without damaging the lead, while the compact size makes it portable and convenient for artists on the go.

4. Kum Long Point Pencil Sharpener

The Kum Long Point Pencil Sharpener is known for its ability to create long, fine points. It comes with two holes, one for standard pencils and another for larger leads. The sharpener also features auto-stop functionality, preventing over-sharpening and reducing the risk of breakage.

5. Faber-Castell Grip Trio Pencil Sharpener

This three-in-one sharpener from Faber-Castell offers versatility, with three different-sized holes for various pencil diameters. It features a removable shavings container and a built-in eraser, making it a handy tool for artists and students.


When it comes to finding the best pencil sharpener for colored leads, considering the unique needs of these pencils is crucial. Look for sharpeners that provide gentle sharpening, have a dual-hole design, include a shavings container, and are made of durable materials. Based on these criteria, the Prismacolor Premier Pencil Sharpener, STAEDTLER Double-hole Tub Pencil Sharpener, Derwent Super Point Mini Manual Helical Pencil Sharpener, Kum Long Point Pencil Sharpener, and Faber-Castell Grip Trio Pencil Sharpener are all excellent options worth considering. Choose the sharpener that best suits your preferences, budget, and artistic needs to ensure your colored pencils are always ready for vibrant and precise creations.

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